Valtteri Bottas said the tense wait to learn whether Alfa Romeo had secured sixth place in the constructors standings reminded him of the controversial outcome of last year’s drivers championship.
Alfa Romeo ended the season tied on points with Aston Martin, but beat them to sixth place in the constructors championship because they had the better individual race finish thanks to the fifth place Bottas scored in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.
But in the final laps of the race Alfa Romeo were concerned Aston Martin might pick up an extra point. Sebastian Vettel was bearing down on Daniel Ricciardo, while Lance Stroll was trying to claim the bonus point for fastest lap.
Bottas finished the race 15th, unable to influence the outcome of the championship fight. While he was being told how close the situation was he remarked “don’t do it to me again, Abu Dhabi” on his radio.
Last year Bottas was part of Mercedes’ unsuccessful effort to secure the drivers championship for Lewis Hamilton. That outcome swung when Hamilton was passed by Max Verstappen in a last-lap restart which was called in contravention of the rules by the FIA F1 race director.
Speaking to media including RaceFans in Abu Dhabi, Bottas admitted “it was so nerve-wracking on the in-lap waiting for the results and I had a deja vu to last year when everything changed in the last lap and now it was luckily for good.”
Finishing ahead of Aston Martin ensures Alfa Romeo claim valuable extra prize money. “For the team it’s big,” said Bottas. “If you look at the last two years where the team has been it’s a big step. Even the prize money is really going to help us. So I’m so glad that we got it.”
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Bottas’ radio messages from the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
|Chan||Okay Valtteri that’s the chequered flag for us. Mode end over the line. Current situation Vettel has DRS for Ricciardo and Stroll is going for fastest lap. This is going to be very tight. Currently we are tied on points. Being tied on points leaves us ahead on points count-back. I’ll let you know with these two guys.|
|Bottas||Don’t do it to me again, Abu Dhabi, please.|
|Chan||I know, I know.|
|Chan||Stroll has aborted his fastest lap attempts. Stroll will not get fastest lap.|
|Chan||Okay Valtteri Ricciardo held on to P10. We have P6. You did it. We did enough.|
|Bottas||Ha! Luck does change. Well done, guys. Well deserved. That’s only the…|